Gen. 1:3

Gen. 1:3
Let there be light.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Turkey Soup

Turkey Soup

When I was a kid my grandmother used to make turkey soup.  All of us grandkids would always make fun of her when she did.  We thought it was the most disgusting thing to boil the carcass of the poor creature that had given its life for our holiday meal.  It seemed somehow gruesome to me.  On top of that, after eating turkey for 3 or 4 days, then to stretch out the same meal for another 2 or 3 days was more turkey than I could take.  My father explained to me that my grandparents had lived through the depression so never threw anything away, EVER.  This was a woman who would wash plastic silverware to use again, and rinse out paper towels to reuse.

Now that I am older I realize that most of the flavor from any protein comes from the roasted bones.  Once the turkey has been roasted, the real flavor can be extracted from the pieces that most people throw away. Take the entire carcass, skin, bones, scrapings from the bottom of the pan, etc., and throw it all into a huge pot.  Add 1 tsp. salt.  Cover with water and simmer on low for 2-3 hours, keeping a close eye on the pot to make sure that the water doesn't completely boil out.  After the pot has reduced by 25-30%, taste the broth.  When it tastes like turkey, remove from the heat and strain through a fine strainer.  (Turkey soup can have many small bones and pieces, especially from the neck and backbone.  Make sure to get them all so no one will choke later).  You now have the base of your soup.  To this you can add anything you like:

leftover turkey meat
chicken meat

Add your desired ingredients, in your desired amounts and simmer for another 15 minutes to cook through. 
Make your soup any way that you like.  I throw the leftover gravy into mine too.  I also like mine a little thicker.  Leftover mashed potatoes can do the trick here too.  I like my soup pretty thick.  Rachael Ray calls it stoup - a cross between stew and soup.

Experiment.  Have fun.  But above all, don't throw anything away.  Someone from the Great Depression might get mad!  Thanks Grandma.

Psalm 118:22 (New International Version)
The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;



Psalm 23:6 " cup overflows."
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Best Fruitcake Recipe In The World

The Best Fruitcake Recipe in the World

I hate traditional fruitcake. In fact, I wouldn’t even call that stuff with the petrified fruit in it cake at all. That is a huge stretch even by my imagination. I have a fruitcake recipe that has been handed down through the generations in my family. I have made a few modifications to it, and have settled on a recipe that I enjoy all year long. So here, as my Christmas gift to you all, is The Best Fruitcake Recipe in the World.

(We always called it Boiled Cake)

2 C raisins
1 chopped apple
2 C sugar
3/4 C shortening
2 C water
dash salt

Combine above ingredients and boil for 2 minutes. Add:

1 ½ tsp. each of Cinnamon, Allspice, and Nutmeg. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp baking soda. Stir well. Allow to cool.

When mixture has completely cooled, add enough flour to make a medium batter (approx. 2 C)
Add 2 beaten eggs, 1 C nuts, and any of the following you desire:

1 can chopped pineapple
1 large can Maraschino cherries
chopped dried apricots, figs, or dates
any other fresh or dried fruit you desire (I stay away from the candied stuff. It hurts my teeth and my tastebuds).

Bake in a greased and floured pan at 350 degrees. Loaf pans for 45 minutes, and angel food pans for 1 hr. 15 min. Allow to cool, slice and serve warm with butter, or as is.
Thanks Aunt Lola, and mom for handing this down through the years.

Lori Sinclair

Psalm 23:6 " cup overflows."
You can find me on my web site, Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, Shoutlife, or Twitter.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This has to be the best pumpkin pie in the world. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, but this is one recipe that I can’t pass up. It is so light and fluffy

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie


2 pre-baked pie crusts
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tsp salt.
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 Cups milk
2 1/2 Cups pumpkin (1 large can)
6 slightly beaten egg yolks
6 egg whites
2/3 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Cups brown sugar

Mix in saucepan brown sugar, gelatin, salt, spices, egg yolks, and milk. Cook over medium high heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Remove and stir in pumpkin. Chill (in bowl) until lukewarm. Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until combined. Fold together with pumpkin mixture. Put into pre-baked pie crusts and refrigerate overnight.

Makes 2 Pies. Serve with whipped cream.

Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lime Seared Scallops and Spinach Salad

Lime Seared Scallops over Spinach Arugula Salad

My children made me the most delicious birthday dinner I have ever had. As a surprise they made lime seared scallops served over a spinach salad with red wine vinaigrette, together with a side of fresh crab legs. It brought back many wonderful memories of childhood on the Virginia coast catching fresh crab. Here is what they did:

Take 3-4 large scallops per person. Pat them completely dry, then drop them into a hot pan with olive oil. Sear them well on both sides, until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Drizzle with fresh squeezed lime juice and top with salt and pepper. Remove from pan. Saute onions, garlic, and shallots in the same pan with the fish and citrus juices.
Lay a plate with a mixture of fresh spinach and arugula. Lay the seared scallops on top, and spoon the sauteed onions, garlic, and shallots over the top. Lightly drizzle with red wine vinaigrette. Serve with a side of crab legs and soft buttered rolls. It will be a meal to remember for about half the cost of a dinner out.

"Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new."
Sammy Hagar/quotes/quotes/s/sammyhagar280556.html


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homemade Chicken Pot Pies

Easy Chicken Pot Pies

Another great and inexpensive meal. Take yesterday’s recipe for homemade chicken soup. Heat the leftovers to a boil. Thicken with either a mixture of cornstarch and water, or flour and water. Once thickened, pour into oven proof bowls. Top with either frozen pie crust (cut to the size of the bowls), or puff pastry (also cut to the size of the bowls). Sprinkle lightly with your favorite cheese and herbs. Bake until golden brown on top, approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with toast or warm bread and a salad.

"This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good, but what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, and not loss; good, and not evil; success, and not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I have paid for it."... Anonymous


Psalm 23:6 " cup overflows."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flu Season

Flu Season

We got our flu shots at work this week. It reminded me of how miserable I am when I get sick. I am not at all pleasant to be around. All I want to do is sleep and have some hot chicken soup. Canned soup is good, but nothing compares to homemade. It is both tastier and cheaper. I try to keep a big pot around at least once a week. If not for me, then for someone else in my household that may not be feeling well either. There is a special feeling when you care for someone else who is ill.

Matthew 25:36 "... I was sick and you looked after me..." NIV

Here is my favorite chicken soup recipe.

1 whole chicken
3-4 cloves garlic
6 cups water
3-4 stalks celery
2-3 carrots
1 potato
2 C. egg noodles

Take one whole chicken, clean, remove the giblets, and place into a large crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped garlic, celery, carrots, potato, and onion. Cover with water. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. If no crock pot is available, simmer the chicken on the stove top on low heat for 2 hours. Remove the chicken from the heat. The liquid is now the base of your soup. Salt and pepper to taste.

When the chicken is cooled, remove the meat from the bones, taking care not to get any small bones into the meat. Return the meat to the pot, discard the bones. Bring to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook until tender. Serve warm with crackers.

Enjoy, and stay well this flu season.

Psalm 23:6 " cup overflows."
You can find me on my web site, Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, Shoutlife, or Twitter.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Beanie Wienies

Beanie Weinies

John 21:15
Jesus said "feed my lambs."

The can says pork and beans. Some people call them franks and beans. We always called them beanie weinies. Whatever the name, they are yet another cheap meal that sustains households with children. It is a meal that can be made, literally in about a minute: open the can, slice a dog, heat and eat. What could be better?

How about something with a little more nutritional value? The only pork that I’ve ever seen in those cans is two tiny chunks at the bottom that are predominantly fat. They should call it Pork Flavored Beans. Here is my take on a more nutritionally based and delicious version of beanie weinies.

Use black beans. They are high in soluble fiber (the good kind) and a good source of protein. White beans work well too. Soak them overnight to soften, then throw them into a crock pot and cover with water.

1 chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
3 stalks of chopped celery
3-4 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
1 6 oz. Can of tomato sauce
1/4 C. Molasses
1 package sliced hot dogs (or substitute your favorite meat)
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer on low in the crock pot for 6-8 hours or until beans are soft and the flavors meld together. This one pot, for about the cost of two cans of pork and beans, will make enough for a family of 6. You will get more flavor, and better nutrition. It will also freeze well, or last in the refrigerator for a week. It is quick, cheap, and delicious. There’s nothing better on a cold winter evening, than coming home to a hot meal ready to eat in the slow cooker. Try it out. Enjoy.

Psalm 23:6 "... my cup overflows."

Dress Up Your Mac 'N Cheese

Dress up your Mac ‘N Cheese

John 21:15
... Jesus said "feed my lambs."

Macaroni and cheese has to be one of the easiest and cheapest meals on the planet. Children love it. There’s rarely a fight to get them to eat it. It is easy on the budget, and easy on the schedule. The problem is that even though you can get a box for about .30 cents, it isn’t very nutritious. Here are some tips that I have learned to help improve the quality of your economical dinner, without adding a lot of expense to your budget or time to your schedule.

First, cut the amount of butter in half. Whatever the box says, cut it way down, or eliminate it entirely. If you add an equal amount of fat free sour cream and a handful of chives instead of the margarine or butter, you have a new, much healthier taste. Stir in grated Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Mozzarella, Fontina, or another favorite cheese. It will give your dish a whole new taste.
Add a slice or two of real American cheese to the mix after you have mixed in all of the ingredients. It will enrich the cheesy flavor and add calcium to the dish. You can also dice up your favorite lunch meat to stir in as well. Ham or turkey works well. My children used to love hot dogs sliced up in their dishes.

Cook your favorite vegetable in with the same water with the noodles (usually for only the last couple of minutes). Mix the vegetables with the noodles and sauce mix. Broccoli, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, or green beans do well. Use any vegetable that you like. Experiment. Be adventurous. Top with chopped scallions, or french fried onions. Sprinkle with a shot of your favorite hot sauce for an even spicier twist.

Make nacho flavored mac ‘n cheese. Add jalapeno peppers or cayenne pepper to the mix when it is done cooking. Serve with tortilla chips instead of a spoon.

Take your mac ‘n cheese mixture when it is complete, and put it into a baking dish. Top with a combination of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 425 degree oven until golden brown, approximately 10-15 minutes. Serve while hot. Enjoy.

"...My cup overflows." Psalm 23:6

Monday, September 21, 2009

Waffles in the Car?

Waffles in the car?

Breakfast on the go is hard enough without adding the stress of making a mess in the car. Is seems like toast is about the only safe thing to bring. The problem is toast can get boring and hard for the kids to eat day after day. How about waffles? Now, before you have nightmares of sticky kids and syrup dripping all over the back seats, take a look at this:

Travel Waffles

1 box frozen toaster waffles, or your own made in advance
1 8 oz. Package non-fat or low fat cream cheese
½ C. Maple syrup (sugar free works well)
½ C. your favorite fruit chopped into small pieces.

Soften the cream cheese to room temperature. Add the maple syrup (or other flavoring if you desire). Whip until well blended. Stir in the fruit and return to the refrigerator to solidify.
In the morning, toast two waffles. Spread the maple-fruit mixture on one, and top with the other like a sandwich. Wrap in a paper towel or plastic wrap, and shoot out the door without a crumb. Much healthier and tastier than dry toast.

Imagine how difficult traveling back in Biblical times was. What did they feed their kids to keep them quiet? Were their travel meals nutritious? Or were they dry toast?

Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.' "

Exodus 16:32 NIV

Faux Watermelon Dessert

The weekly ads came in the newspaper on Wednesday this week and watermelon was on sale. I love watermelon. The harvest is so bountiful, my local store has to have enormous rolling crates to store them in.

I am reminded of a recipe my sister made for a summer swim party that we had. It was a different sort of watermelon recipe. She called it Faux Watermelon Sherbet. Here it goes:

½ Gallon Raspberry sherbet
½ Gallon Lime sherbert
16 oz. bag of chocolate chips

Soften the lime sherbet on the counter until pliable, but not liquid. In the meantime, place a rounded or oblong bowl in the freezer to chill. Either metal or very thin plastic works best. When the sherbet is pliable, mold it to the outside of the frozen bowl so that the green appears to be the watermelon rind. Make at least a 1 inch layer all the way around the bowl. Place back into the freezer to freeze solid.

When the raspberry sorbet is pliable, but not liquid, stir in the chocolate chips. They should look like watermelon seeds. Once they are well mixed, fill the center of the bowl with the raspberry/chocolate chip mixture and return to the freezer. The mixture should fill the remainder of the bowl to the top.

Before serving, dip the outside of the bowl into warm water to loosen the ice cream from the bowl, then serve upside down on a serving platter. Slice the ice cream as though you would a watermelon for a good, fun summer treat.

"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few."
Matthew 9:37 NIV

I remember this verse whenever I see the giant vats of produce at my local store.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


John 6:12
"Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."

When I was a teenager I used to go spend the summer with my aunt. She would make this dish that she called "stuff." "What is it?" I would ask. Her reply was always "stuff". Being the analytical one in the family, this answer wasn't good enough for me. I pressed. "What stuff?"
"It's different every time," she would say, enjoying the irritation that I would feel.
"How do you make it?" Bingo. It took some time but I had finally landed on the right question.

Here's the recipe:

Take a large air tight plastic container, with tightly securing lid, and place it, empty into the freezer. As you finish each meal, if there is a scoop of something leftover, place it in the freezer in the airtight container. The requirements are that the leftover has to be too much to throw away, but not enough to save for another meal. Other than that, the ingredient list is wide open. She generally tried to stick to potatoes, vegetables, rice, meats, gravies, and the occasional hot dog. In other words, savory dishes. Deserts are off limits. They can make their own "stuff" later. When the plastic container was full, she would throw it into a crock pot and cook it all day, letting the flavors marry and meld together. She was right. Each and every dish of stuff was completely different than the one before. Most were quite tasty, I am told by my cousins. Others... well, you know.

This is strangely reminiscent of a traditional Scottish dish called the Hunter's Stew. As the men would set out hunting in the morning, the women would prepare the base of the stew. They would go to the garden and bring in whatever vegetable was in season. Potatoes and leeks were common. Onions and other greens would be harvested too. These would be prepared and thrown into a large pot of water. Whatever meat the hunter would bring home would be cleaned and thrown in too. Hunter's stew could be anything from venison, beef, and mutton to rabbits and squirrels, or any type of seafood imaginable. It is different everytime. Often there would be some small leftovers from one meal, that would be added to with a new kill, changing the taste completely. Whatever the hunter brought home went into the stew. There was no recipe. It was "stuff."

I take a slightly different tact with my leftovers. Rather than one large plastic container, I have numerous small ones. I make what I call "TV dinners." Being a finiky eater, I am a little more cautious with my combinations, but the idea is the same. I will place into these containers, one scoop of potatoes one night, some vegetables the next night. One day a leftover hot dog or a chicken breast - whatever my hunter has brought home that day. When an individual meal is done, I put it on a special shelf in my freezer. These are what I bring to lunch at work every day. When the kids are gone and I have a meal alone, I dine on one of these leftovers rather than going out, or cooking another whole meal just for myself. It works out well. I save tons of money on lunches out at work, and no matter how tired or sick I am feeling, I know there is a good, nutritious, home cooked meal waiting for me at home, made of scraps and pieces that some would throw away.

After Jesus fed the 5,000 in the book of John, he took care to tell the disciples "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." Jesus had some "stuff" too. If it's good enough for Him, then it's good enough for me! Try it, and enjoy - just leave out the ice cream and pumpkin pie.

Lori Sinclair
Psalm 23:6 " cup overflows."
You can find me on my web site, Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, Shoutlife, or Twitter.

Celebrate: Live, Love, Believe, and Eat.

We celebrate with food.
"Eat, drink, and be merry!" King Henry VIII is famous for saying. Birthdays, weddings, christenings, holidays, we needn't look far for an excuse to find something to celebrate with a meal. My biggest celebration is that of family. To share a meal with those I love is one of the most basic pleasures of life. It is the glue that holds our family unit together. Not so much the receiving of nourishment, but the sharing of time together - to relax, slow down from the hectic day, and just be together.
"Love one another as I have loved you," Jesus tells us. We show love a number of ways. Preparation of a meal for another person is one. The giving and receiving of this gift can be priceless. Remember the look of surprise and joy on a child's face when they taste something delicious and new for the first time? Remember your joy when you were the one to give that gift?
This blog is dedicated to the preservation of the family meal time. Here we will share recipes, hints and tips on money and time saving meals, family traditions, new thoughts and ideas, and above all, faith. Make every meal and every day a celebration of life, love, and faith. I have learned to cherish my time with those that I love, for all too often it can be cut short.
It's easy for life to close in on us. We all feel overworked and underpaid, overburdened and underappreciated. It seems that everyone around us always needs something and there is no time left for me. At the end of the day, often the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen and make a big meal. But then my children come home. Both off at college now, our time to share meals together is limited. I have learned to love and appreciate them all over again, and realize how richly blessed I am to be able to be their mother. Out of all the stresses and strains of my everyday life, there is one thought I carry with me when I look at my family and those that I love:
Psalm 23:6 " cup overflows."
Lori Sinclair
You can find me on my web site, Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, Shoutlife, or Twitter.